Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Twitter/BCCI)
Star Indian middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer has been ruled out of the Test series opener against Australia in Nagpur, according to a latest report by Cricinfo. Iyer, who missed the ODI series against the Kiwis due to a back injury has been advised to take his time following his visit to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) on Wednesday.
Shreyas Iyer sustained a back injury in the lead-up to the ODI series against New Zealand. He traveled to the NCA for his rehab and has been advised to extend his stay in Bangalore. However, it is just a precautionary step, and the middle-order stalwart is likely to join the squad ahead of the second Test in Delhi, which commences on February 17.
The 28-year-old batting ace suffered a swollen lower back after participating in India’s two-match Test series against Bangladesh in December last year. He visited the NCA for his rehab and returned to Mumbai after a week as he was expected to join India’s preparatory camp in Nagpur ahead of the all-important Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
But the prolific batter failed to get the fitness clearance from the NCA, ruling him out of the Test series opener against the Aussies. He was named in the 17-man squad for the opening two Test matches of the series and was likely to start in the middle order for the Asian giants.
Iyer’s absence in the first Test is a crucial blow to the home side as they are looking at several middle-order combinations, with KL Rahul likely to drop down the order to accommodate Shubman Gill in the opening slot. India’s T20 batting superstar Suryakumar Yadav, who received his maiden Test call-up for the impending series, is likely to start in the opening Test in Nagpur.
India’s Test squad for the first two Tests: Rohit Sharma (capt), KL Rahul (vice-capt), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Suryakumar Yadav